The Red Umbrella

6 CDs. 7:14 hrs. Dreamscape. Nov. 2016. $24.99. ISBN 9781520060880. digital download.
Gr 6–9—The setting is Cuba in 1961, two years after Fidel Castro's successful revolution. Fourteen-year-old Lucía Alvarez spends her days reading American fashion magazines and gossiping with her best friend, Ivette, while looking forward to her quinceañera. Reality hits when her father is arrested and Ivette is sent to train with the Brigades. Lucía's parents, anxious about her and her little brother's safety, send them to Nebraska to live with helpful friends and keep them out of Castro's grasp. But how quickly and easily Lucía can adjust to a new and strange culture remains to be seen. This story, set during one of the most defining times in 20th-century history, is narrated by Kyla Garcia, who brings life to Lucía and her story.
VERDICT A great choice for libraries that have an audiobook collection and those interested in historical fiction and compelling family stories. ["Well-written…has a thoroughly believable protagonist and well-chosen period details. It should be noted that Gonzalez portrays the single sympathetic Communist character as increasingly brainwashed": SLJ 5/10 review of the Knopf book.]

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